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Clickable prodrugs bearing potent and hydrolytically cleavable nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase inhibitors

Authors Sadrerafi K, Mason EO, Lee Jr MW

Received 27 September 2017

Accepted for publication 31 January 2018

Published 24 April 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 987—995


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianbo Sun

Keivan Sadrerafi, Emilia O Mason, Mark W Lee Jr

Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

Purpose: Our previous study indicated that carborane containing small-molecule 1-(hydroxymethyl)-7-(4′-(trans-3″-(3‴-pyridyl)acrylamido)butyl)-1,7-dicarbadodecaborane (hm-MC4-PPEA), was a potent inhibitor of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt). Nampt has been shown to be upregulated in most cancers and is a promising target for the treatment of many different types of cancers, including breast cancers.
Patients and methods:
To increase the selectivity of hm-MC4-PPEA toward cancer cells, three prodrugs were synthesized with different hydrolyzable linkers: ester, carbonate, and carbamate. Using click chemistry a fluorophore was attached to these prodrugs to act as a model for our conjugation strategy and to serve as an aid for prodrug stability studies. The stabilities of these drug conjugates were tested in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at normothermia (37°C) using three different pH levels, 5.5, 7.5, and 9.5, as well as in horse serum at physiological pH. The stability of each was monitored using reversed-phase HPLC equipped with both diode array and fluorescence detection. The inhibitory activity of hm-MC4-PPEA was also measured using a commercially available colorimetric assay. The biological activities of the drug conjugates as well as those of the free drug (hm-MC4-PPEA), were evaluated using the MTT assay against the human breast cancer cell lines T47D and MCF7, as well as the noncancerous, transformed, Nampt-dependent human breast epithelium cell line 184A1.
Results: hm-MC4-PPEA showed to be a potent inhibitor of recombinant Nampt activity, exhibiting an IC50 concentration of 6.8 nM. The prodrugs showed great stability towards hydrolytic degradation under neutral, mildly acidic and mildly basic conditions. The carbamate prodrug also showed to be stable in rat serum. However, the carbonate and the ester prodrug release at various rates in serum presumably owing to the presence of several different classes of esterase. The biological activities of the drug conjugates correlate with the stability of their cleavable linkers observed in serum.
Conclusion: The targeted and selective delivery of potent Nampt inhibitors to cancer cells is a potentially new route for the treatment of many cancers. These prodrugs linked to small cancer-associated peptides may be optimum for their use as targetable Nampt inhibitors.

Keywords: carboranes, Nampt, cancer, prodrugs, cleavable linker

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